U.S. Xpress boosts first quarter revenues despite COVID-19 challenges

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Trainer, Mentor and Road Team Captain Don Blair demos the driving range at the U.S. Xpress Tunnel Hill facility on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 in Tunnel Hill, Ga. The driving range is part of the Professional Driver Development program and offers potential drivers a course to practice different maneuvers.

Chattanooga's biggest trucking company hauled in more revenues than last year during the first quarter, but the market upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic has undercut shipping rates and trucking industry profits.

U.S. Xpress Enterprises, Inc., the nation's fifth largest asset-based truckload carrier by revenue, said Thursday it had an adjusted net loss of $7.2 million, or 15 cents per share, in the first three months of 2020. In the same period a year ago, U.S. Xpress reported adjusted earnings of $7.3 million, or 15 cents per share.

The results were a penny per share better than the average forecast among analysts who follow the company and sales were better than what had been predicted.

Nonetheless, shares of U.S. Xpress declined by nearly 9.2%, or 44 cents per share, in trading on the Nasdaq Exchange to lower the company's price to $4.36